Research Article

The role of denial on emotional correlates of childhood trauma in a non-clinical population

Sanja Krvavac* and Billy Jansson

Published: 30 November, 2022 | Volume 6 - Issue 1 | Pages: 040-047

Background: A large body of evidence suggests that child abuse and neglect by a caregiver is a recurrent event linked to increased psychopathology symptoms. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) is commonly used to assess abuse/neglect during childhood. However, even though the Minimization-Denial (MD) subscale was originally designed to assess response bias (i.e., underreporting of childhood maltreatment), it is possible that the scale may reflect coping strategies that play an effective role in the relationship between childhood trauma and their negative outcomes. Also, even though MD has been associated with decreased psychopathology symptoms, it is also strongly associated with other scales of the CTQ. 
Method: This study (n = 133) examined whether (1) the MD-scale is negatively associated with alexithymia, emotion dysregulation and psychopathology, if (2) these associations will hold when adjusting for different subtypes of abuse and neglect and (3) and the role of MD as a possible moderator in these relationships. 
Results: The analyses showed that, although MD scores have relatively strong and (mostly) significant (negative) associations with the CTQ, emotion dysregulation strategies and psychopathology symptoms, these associations were weak and failed to remain significant when adjusting for the effect of CTQ. 
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the MD scores should be viewed as an accurate reflection of the absence (or little) of exposure to childhood abuse/neglect. 

Read Full Article HTML DOI: 10.29328/journal.apmh.1001043 Cite this Article Read Full Article PDF


Child abuse and neglect; Denial/Minimization; Emotion dysregulation; Alexithymia; Psychopathology symptoms


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